When it comes to high heels you can’t quite have it all, i.e. cute, comfortable and cheap. But, if you’re willing to spend a little extra, you’ll be astonished to find that you can wear heels in a range of colors and styles all day without suffering. Here are our favorite new picks for spring.
$195; www.gentlesouls.com A twist on the typical wedge, the makers of these sandals took the traditional cork bottom and carved it into a platform 3.5-inch heel that’s ergonomically designed to “rock” with the foot in the natural motion of walking. A concealed Velcro fastening allows you to adjust the straps to fit your feet precisely. The result is a boho-chic heel that won’t hold you back while you’re running around town.
$155; www.korkease.com Perfect to pair with a sassy sundress or a pair of skinny jeans, the Kork-Ease Deborah is a great versatile sandal option. Incredibly comfortable, the shoe’s arch support is the most noteworthy feature. The full-grain leather straps are soft on the skin (no irritation or rubbing!), and the 3.25-inch heel is perfectly pleasant for an 8-hour workday or a night out dancing.
$125; www.dansko.com Dansko takes good-for-your-feet to a new level of femininity with the Dahlia. The 1.5-inch heel thongs showcase a flower adornment and come in both leather and patent leather options. The man-made sole provides great grippage, while the footbed features a foam insert, which pulls double duty: super soft and great for shock absorption (i.e. good for the joints!).
$169; www.earthbrands.com These 3.5-inch platform heels may be named after a laid-back Italian coastal town, but the suede-and-snakeskin design screams city style. The contoured footbed is constructed to support the natural curve of the foot, which means the toe area curls up a bit in front. It’s an unusual sensation at first, but one you’ll grow to appreciate when a day in heels doesn’t end with aching arches.
$150; www.borncrown.com There’s no question that a 4.5-inch heel isn’t for everyone, but these, the tallest we tested, have much to recommend them. The 1.5-inch platform offers substantial support without distracting from the design of the shoe, and a stacked heel is sturdy without feeling too heavy. Choose between coral, a perfect pop of color for summer, tan, brown or black. These are sized generously in whole sizes only.
$140; www.rockport.com While many “comfort heels” over a certain height feature a fairly chunky construction, these surprisingly lightweight 4-inchers are practically a stiletto and undeniably sexy. The ankle strap adjusts with Velcro, but we still found it ran slightly narrow. The footbed, featuring Adidas technology, provides unheard-of comfort for such a towering style.
$89.99; www.springstepshoes.com People with higher arches often shy away from criss-cross styles, but the woven leather straps on this trendy 3-inch heeled sandal fit just fine over ours thanks to the generous give. Depending on the size and shape of your ankle, the Velcro strap has the potential to be irritating if it hits in the wrong place but is otherwise comfortable. Do consider going up a half size.
$162; www.naot.com Through the magic of Velcro and elastic, you’ll get a custom fit from the straps of these 3-inch slides. Cute details like metallic leather (in green, black or red) and chain-link adornments help distract from these feats of wizardry. We liked that these could go from day to night with good arch support throughout, thanks to a cork and latex footbed.
$176; www.naot.com We loved that these modest 2-inch heels give a bit of lift while being practical enough for a long day of shopping or walking. A leather-wrapped insole with a microfiber center prevents feet from slipping forward, a common complaint with backless styles. The straps, decorated with cutouts, fit snugly without causing pain. But if you’re between sizes, go up.
$79; www.easyspirit.com These 1.75-inch heels are both comfy and lightweight. (The faux wood heel appears heavier than it is.) The soft footbed is topped with a comfortable leather upper, which features stitching detail, and the rubber soles have great traction. Great with a sundress or a pair of jeans!
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